Grief & Loss - 3 Months On
I imagine this post will probably seem a little bit out of place amidst a sea of Christmas gift guides and festive excitement - it's not very cheery or merry to write about grief and loss. But it's what I felt like I needed to write today, and this is my blog after all, so I get to make the rules. Apologies if this post isn't the most coherent one I've ever written. It's quite literally a dump of all of the things in my head.
It's been over 3 months now since our gorgeous little Blossy passed away. In fact, it will be 4 months on Christmas day.
It's hard to process that it's been that long. It doesn't seem like 2 minutes ago that she was making us laugh with her squeaky voice and her cheeky face. It certainly doesn't feel like we've been trying to navigate through a life without her for 15 weeks. But at the same time, those carefree weeks of summer, the ones before our lives were turned upside down, feel like a lifetime ago. It's odd how time works, isn't it?
I've only experienced grief once before, when my lovely Nan passed away a couple of years ago. Grieving for Blossom has been so, so different to that experience. Someone put it very eloquently when they said that when we lose an older person, we grieve for our past, but when we lose a young person, we are grieving for their future and everything they should have done and been and seen. That is so true.
There is not a single hour that goes past where I don't think about Blossom. Where I don't imagine what funny thing she'd be saying this week, or what pressie we'd be buying her for Christmas or for her birthday. She is always on mind, and I don't think that will go away. I hope it won't - she was such a special little character that remembering her always brings a smile, even if it sometimes brings a tear as well.
I've mentioned before that I don't know what I believe about the afterlife, but there have been so many signs that I can't help but think she's still around us. Rainbows at special times, butterflies turning up when we're all together. Just last week I was walking back from a meeting and there were some students stood near our office holding a paper sign that said "Blossom Neverland" on it. I like to think that it was her telling me that she's up to no good with TinkerBell and Peter Pan. I really hope that wherever Bloss is, she can see how incredible her mum and dad and siblings and grandparents are.
I've learnt a lot in this past few months. I've learnt that the kindness of others can make the most unbearable times feel that little bit less painful. I've learnt that asking for help is not a weakness - in fact, I've learnt that sometimes it is entirely necessary. I've learnt that even when life deals you the shittest card it has, you can still be grateful for the good stuff.
One of the biggest things I've learnt is that you can't second guess grief. You can't predict how you'll feel on certain days, or what the trigger will be that sets off the sobs. You can't hurry along the process, or push your feelings to the back of your mind because you have a big meeting to get to or an event that you're supposed to be happy and smiley at. I've also learnt that everyone deals with grief and loss differently. There is absolutely no use in trying to tell yourself, or anyone else, how it should feel. Grief doesn't work like that. I'm trying to do the best I can to look after everyone else while also being a little bit more patient with myself.
I have never been more grateful to be a part of my family. I knew they were a pretty special bunch before all of this happened, but my GOD, every single one of them has proven just how incredible they are. Without them, without the unbreakable bond that we all share, the past few months would have been impossible. I honestly believe that, and I thank my lucky stars every single day that they are mine.
I know that Christmas is going to be so hard without her. She was our little Christmas Eve baby, so we have a double whammy of her birthday and Christmas to get through. But I know that we will do it as a family. We will come together and lean on each other and celebrate her. We will make it as magical as we possibly can for her big sister and her little brother and her cousins. We have to.
Someone said something to me the other day that I've been thinking about ever since. They said "your life has to be richer for having had Blossom in it, rather than poorer for having had to say goodbye to her so soon". It stuck with me, and it's something I want to remember over the upcoming festive period. It's going to be hard, but we're still so, so lucky to have the memories that we made with her.